Building & Zoning Permits

Before You Apply

  • New construction or other visible exterior changes occurring in the Uptown Historic District or University Historic District may require a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic and Architectural Preservation Commission as a prerequisite to Building Permit approval. Contact the Community Development to verify before submitting for a permit or beginning work.
  • Construction should not begin until a permit has been issued.
  • In areas not designated as a historic district, the City does not require permits for siding, landscaping (other than retaining walls), painting, wallpapering, or storm/screen windows & doors. Window replacements do not require a permit so long as corresponding wall openings are not affected (changing in size). 


Ways to Apply

  • Apply Via Email

    • Download and complete the applicable Application Form found in the Permit Types section below. This form may be filled out by hand and scanned to PDF, or filled out in the web browser or in Adobe Acrobat and then printed to PDF format.
    • Compile the necessary building and/or site construction plans. In most cases, plans must be signed by a design professional licensed in the State of Ohio.
    • Send all contents in PDF format to
  • Apply In-Person

    • Download, print, and complete the applicable Application Form found in the Permit Types section below.
    • Compile the necessary building and/or site construction plans.  In most cases, plans must be signed by a design professional licensed in the State of Ohio. The Community Development office cannot accept any hard copies larger than 11x17. If plan sheets are larger than 11x17, a PDF version of plans must be sent to
    • Drop off all contents to the Community Development Department on the first floor of the Municipal Building.
  • Apply Online

    • Contractors and design professionals who frequently apply for permits from the City of Oxford are encouraged to create a Contractor Account through the City’s BS&A Online platform.
    • Creating a BS&A Online account will allow you to submit applications and documents directly to Community Development and track the status of applications.

Permit Types


  • Building Permit

    • Download Application Form »
    • What requires a Building Permit?
      • Additions to existing buildings
      • Alterations – interior, including commercial tenant finishes
      • Change of Use – Building, Zoning, and/or floor plan change
      • Commercial Exhaust Hood – new or replacement, and hood suppression
      • Electrical – new service, service repair, service upgrade
      • Fire Alarm – new or replacement
      • Fire Suppression System – new or replacement
      • HVAC System – new and replacement
      • New Construction – Residential
      • New Construction – Commercial and Multi-Family
      • Roof – surface and structural (read recent code changes and submission/inspection requirements)
      • Swimming Pool (Above or In-ground) and Hot Tubs
      • Telecommunications – new tower or alterations, and equipment co-location
      • Temporary Tent
    • There may be other circumstances not contained in the list above. Contact us for clarification before starting work.

Special Types


    • The City of Oxford enforces a model residential building code and its own zoning code, as well as related electric, fire and mechanical codes.
    • The Residential Code of Ohio (RCO) applies to one-, two- and three-family dwellings, and accessory structures. The Ohio Building & Mechanical Codes and National Electrical Code (OBC) apply to the construction of dwellings with more than three units, or commercial and industrial structures. Call National Inspection Corporation (NIC) at 513-524-5205 if you have questions about the Building Codes.
    • Site plans submitted for new construction and building additions must show all structures, lot dimensions, distances from structures to all lot lines, parking, screening, and the location of existing and proposed water and sewer laterals. Other elements may also be required to be shown. 
    • When building(s) are to be set on or near minimum distances from lot lines, you must submit a site plan drawn by a registered surveyor.


    Plans and Processing

    • All project plans are reviewed electronically by departments. There may be up to ten different reviewers of your plans.
    • Each round of review may require revisions or additional information.
    • Small projects that need to be reviewed typically take 7-10 business days to process.
    • Large projects take 14-20 business days to process, based on the season.
    • Very simple projects such as fences and sheds typically take 1-3 business days for a review response to be returned.

    Revisions to Permit In-Process

    • We will contact the applicant via email once all departments have returned their reviews.
    • When submitting revisions in response to department comments, you must provide a cover letter or memo explaining what has changed.
    • Revisions can be submitted in PDF format to, or dropped off as hard copies if sized 11x17 or smaller. 

    Revisions to an Approved Permit

    If you have already been issued a permit and begun work, but need to revise your plans, you will need to apply for a Revision to An Approved Plan. Contact the Community Development office for further assistance.

    Payment & Issuance

    • Fees will be determined during the review process and you will pay at issuance.
    • We do not accept up-front payments.
    • A Community Development staff member will email you when the permit is approved and ready to be issued. You will receive a fee invoice at this time.
    • We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard and Discover. You can pay with a credit card over the phone and all forms in-person. We do not accept payments online at this time.
    • Download Permit-Related Fee List »

    After Permit Issuance


    • Projects require inspections during and after construction.
    • The permit will list the required inspections with instructions on how to schedule.
    • For inspections information, download the Residential Building Inspections Guide.


    • Occupancy cannot take place until the project is completed and a Certificate of Occupancy is issued.


    If you have any questions, contact the Community Development Department at 513-524-5204 or